The advice given on this site is based upon individual or quoted experience, yours may differ.
The Officers, Staff and members of this site only provide information based upon the concept that anyone utilizing this information does so at their own risk and holds harmless all contributors to this site.
Welcome! This question gets asked at least once or twice a year. If you click on search up at the top. You'll be able to get lots of ideas about stopping those leaks.
I ran a bead of silicone around the outside frames all my ports and stopped my leaks. But it's messy stuff and I consider it temporary. A more permanent soultion would be to use 3M 4200-don't use 5200, you'll never get those windows out.
Hey Bill, my portlights leak like sives (sp). I was going to do the rebed thing, but then ran across an article about how to make your own modern smoked Lexan port light in the current issue of Good Old Boat. It think it will take me the same amount of time to make the new ones. It is worth the price of the mag to see if it is right for you. Cheers.
The next issue of Good Old Book included a letter to the editor, making an interesting point about surface-mounted port lights. Any flex at all in the cabin top will travel to the port openings, causing the Lexan, or whatever you use, to eventually crack at the screw holes. The original frames give the plastic room to float within the range of normal twisting, flexing, or compression.
It's just one guy's opinion, but it made a lot of sense to me.
I am in the process of researching all I can about plastic windows. The only conclusion I have come to so far is that Lexan (polycarbonate sheet) is not the correct material. The polycarbonate sheet will craze in the sunlight. Also, polycarbonate sheet does not come tinted very dark. It only comes tinted about the shade of a car window. I know this because I ordered a big sheet of it and it is the wrong color for what I’m looking for. Big BU’s down the scupper. If you would like to install polycarbonate tinted windows in your aluminum frames, this might work. Drop me an email. I am still researching what adhesive to use or if I should use gaskets like the GOB article. If gaskets, what material exactly? I am deep in reading and thinking about all of this. I have received samples of all kinds of materials. I am honestly thinking about mounting the plastic material on the surface of the cabin sides using several different methods. A different method for each window and see which works the best over time and why. Sort of a research project boat. My desire is to mount the acrylic with adhesive only. This would yield a clean look and no holes for leaks. But in doing that, it would probably be a good idea to bend the acrylic to match the curve of the sides. Still researching that. It will be a fun project anyway.
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Happy D</i> <br />I am in the process of researching all I can about plastic windows. The only conclusion I have come to so far is that Lexan (polycarbonate sheet) is not the correct material. The polycarbonate sheet will craze in the sunlight...<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
One of the windows on my boat came to me with what I assume to be a Lexan replacement window. Not only was it severaly crazed, it also had a brown tint to it rather than the smoked glass of the other windows.
I've since replaced it with a tempered piece of glass that matches the original tint exactly.
I think my leaks were coming in from between the glass and the aluminum channel. What I did the weekend before last is pull out the old, dry rotted piece of rubber that was there, cleaned it, masked off the aluminum, then applied Life Caulk (polysulfide) along the entire perimeter of the glass and aluminum frame. I bought a handy tool that makes corners smooth when caulking and it did a nice job. So far I have only completed one window, so I don't know for sure if the leak stopped since the others still leak, but it does seem like it'll do the job for now. Here is a photo showing the edge:
With the following windows I may also mask off the glass, about 1/4" in to make sure I get a nice clean edge on the glass as well.
Someday I may get around to buying the new rubber seals from Catalina Direct, but I could use the money on many other projects at this time. Hopefully after caulking all the windows with this method, it will stop those leaks.
Notice: The advice given on this site is based upon individual or quoted experience, yours may differ. The Officers, Staff and members of this site only provide information based upon the concept that anyone utilizing this information does so at their own risk and holds harmless all contributors to this site.